Determination and Hard Work: GiGi Career Development Spring Session Celebrates!

Last month we celebrated our virtual career training programs, GiGi Unniversity, GiGi Prep, and GiGi Professional, with a virtual completion ceremony. Students celebrated their accomplishments throughout the Spring Session with interns from Aurora University. 

Our Students from the E.P.I.C program (Empowered, Participation, Independence, and Community) really enjoyed their Speech sessions with Dr. Jay and doing arm stretches in fitness! E.P.I.C. provides opportunities for socialization and community involvement, while creating a fun and memorable experience for it’s participants. Participants work on vocational, communication, and social skills to boost confidence and encourage independence through goal-oriented objectives.

Our students gave a individual speech on their  favorite part of the program:

“Hi, my name is Emma. My favorite part of GiGi U was seeing my friends, listening to music at the start of class, learning math and counting money. I will always remember what we learned about nutrition and making fitness goals. I learned how much I like to make nutrition goals and want to work.  This session I made goals to try new vegetables, workout outside of class, practice eye contact, and call Hope outside of class.  I will miss my friends, doing fitness with Ms. Karen and the teachers over break.”

The GiGi Prep program has an emphasis on building communication skills, money management, customer service, team building, and health and wellness over a 10-week session made up of 2-days per week instructional learning. This program is an application-based program with high expectations to motivate adults with Down syndrome.

GiGi U is a comprehensive and progressive learning program tailored specifically for adults with Down syndrome, comprised of a 15-week session made up of 3-days per week instructional program. GiGi U is designed for motivated adults with Down syndrome to achieve their highest potential in the real world while developing their abilities in the areas of wellness, communication and career skills with emphasis on job interviewing, communication skills, money management, public speaking, customer service, computer skills, team building and health.

With help from parents, the teachers from all programs surprised students from each program with an ice cream social in our Hugs and Mugs Studio Cafe. It was the first time students and participants were able to meet in person. What a memorable moment for all!

 Nancy Gianni, Chief Belief Officer and mom of GiGi Gianni, shared a email from one of our GiGi Professional teachers: I have learned so much from my time at GiGi’s and I hope to be back volunteering soon! It is such a wonderful and welcoming organization you’ve created! – Tabitha Cokinis 

Learn more about our Signature  Career Development-Based Programs.

Special thank you to the Donors for supporting the GiGi’s Career Training and Continuing Education Programs!

  • Arc of Illinois
  • Rotary
  • Hanover Township
  • Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation
  • Levitetz Family Foundation
  • BOSCH Community Fund










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